- To be attributed to Dr Rukaiya Harianwala , M.Sc.(OT), Occupational therapist, The Aditya Birla Integrated School
To understand this lets first understand what is LEARNING DISABILITIY and what is OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY
LEARNING DISABILITIES are conditions that affect an individual’s ability to understand or use spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements, or direct attention. These individuals have a difficulty in understanding new or complex information i.e. learning new skills.
Although learning disabilities occur in very young children, the disorders are usually not recognized until the child reaches a school going age.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY helps children to maximize their potential through interventions in the areas of gross and fine motor functions, sensory processing, eye hand coordination, visual perception, activities of daily living, attention span, concentration, self-regulation and organization, play and social skills.
The early years of a child’s life are crucial as cognitive, social and physical development takes place then. But not every child successfully passes through these development milestones. There are some who have restricted or delayed development.
Every milestone for a child is important right from the time it is conceived in the womb. There are reflexes which develop in the womb and after birth. Integration of all these reflexes are important as they form the basis of further sensory, motor, perceptual and cognitive development of the child
The FLOW CHART below explains how every stage of development is IMPORTANT and when each stage is not completely integrated how it can further affect your development.
REFLEXES NOT INTEGRATED IN THE WOMB OR EARLY YEARS OF LIFE
If not integrated,
When a child is referred to us, we as Occupational Therapists analyse from the flow chart where the issue is and accordingly start from that stage. To begin with, we have a detailed assessment and interview with the child’s parents initially. This includes a detailed history from child birth, pre and postnatal history, milestones of the child, sensory profile (This includes almost 140 questions itself), school challenges, social interactions, social communications, etc. We also speak to the child’s school teachers to get minute details of how the child is functioning in school.
Next we would evaluate the child. The child’s evaluation happens in school settings or in private clinics. The child is evaluated through a series of evaluation through observations in play and interactions with the therapist. We also used standardized evaluation tests to understand what age group is the child processing at and that’s helps a lot to understand what is the lag we are looking at accomplishing.
Once all our evaluation is done we set goals for the child. We always look at solving the main baseline cause of the problem and work upwards accordingly, using neurodevelopmental therapy, sensory integrated therapy, working on their fine motor, gross motor skills, improving perceptual skills etc.
THE LIEF OF A DYSLXIEC CIHILLD IS NOT ESAY, THE BUMBPS AND ROLLARCOASTAR RYDE FOUR THEIM NEWER ENNDS.
This is how every sentence looks to a DYSLEXIC CHILD. Imagine if u had to read like this loud how it would affect your performance and ruin your confidence. Practising for last 23 years, I have one advise to all parents. If at any stage you feel there is a problem your child is facing, be ALERT! Get them evaluated. Seek help. Let not the problem multiply to reach the next stage. The earlier the problem is addressed it is better for the child.